About this project
The issue is that currently, the fire service has no lighting devices on their ladders. When firefighters climb to the top of a dark roof or into a smokey room, they can't see where they are stepping. When you can't see where you are stepping, you step on stuff. When you step on stuff, you twist your ankle or break your leg. When you break your leg, the city has to pay for it. When the city has to pay for it, our taxes go up. Don't let our taxes go up. Help us help firefighters everywhere; make Fireground Injury Reduction Equipment (F.I.R.E) lights a reality.
There is a real problem with firefighter injuries on the fireground. In 2013, there were over 13,000 injuries related to ladder activities totaling over $500 million in taxpayer money. The issue is two fold: departing a ladder onto a dark uneven roof and the ability to locate a ladder quickly in an evacuation. In the last decade, firefighters sustained over 100,000 non-life threatening injuries, and an average of two lives were lost every year due to not being able to locate a ladder quickly enough to evacuate a building.
Even a simple sprained ankle can cost a city over $100,000. Not only does the city have to pay the medical bills of the injured firefighter, but also the firefighter's paid time off. In addition, there is the money paid to have another firefighter come in and do overtime to cover the shift of the injured individual. As if the monetary cost is not enough, the crew integrity will also suffer. Imagine that you are used to going into burning buildings with the same crew. You all know each other's strengths and how the others will react in certain situations. One day, someone gets injured and now you have a different person with you who isn't familiar with how your crew works. The pace must and will slow down, which, in a situation when seconds count, can cost lives.
KXAN News Story.
F.I.R.E. Lights is the answer and an easy one at that. It solves many of the problems associated with ladder operations. When you are surrounded by trucks with bright lights, wearing multiple layers of plastic face masks, in smoke, and getting sprayed with water, visibility is obviously reduced. Now you combine that with the adrenalin rush of going into a raging fire and you can see why finding your ladder quickly to evacuate yourself or a victim could be immensely difficult. F.I.R.E. Lights makes that task easy and painless. Even with a wet scratched face piece, looking through smoke and water mist, the ladder is obvious in its placement. This leads to fewer injuries, quicker response times and more lives saved.
Make sure to look at all the rewards at the bottom of page so you get exactly what you want.
F.I.R.E. LIGHTS BODY DESIGN
The existing end cap design does not have lights and is inherently structurally weak, as evidenced by the high failure rate at the leg to body joint. By creating a bevel that feeds into the legs with a radius, we have increased the leg strength by over 300%. This means that ladders are not out of service as often to get repaired. When the units are out of service, they are not protecting the city and the cost totals up in both time and money:
New end cap = Time to drive ladder to shop (about 1-2 hrs) + Time to replace cap (about 0.5 hrs) + Time to get back to station and back in service (about 1-2 hrs). That's a total of 2.5 - 4.5 hours!
Take those hours multiplied by 4 guys on a truck, 2-3 techs at shops and fuel to get there, and you realize that what seems like a simple failure just cost the city close to $1000 in lost wages. Not to mention, the zone that truck protects was left without their primary truck, reducing response times to the entire area leaving the public unprotected for hours.
WINDOW PUNCH RIBBON
The window punch ribbon turns the tip of the ladder into a glass breaking tool. The firefighter will no longer have to waste time and energy carrying multiple tools to a window, breaking it, climbing back down the ladder to drop off the tools and climbing back up the ladder to get in the window. Now, firefighters have the ability to use the window punch built into F.I.R.E. Lights to break the window and gain access to the building in one step. This saves nearly 1 minute getting into the house. If you were in a house that was burning down, wouldn't you want the firefighters getting to you 1 minute sooner?
The beacon lights allow the ladder to pose as an exit sign, helping firefighters in a room or on a roof locate the ladder more quickly. These lights have a variable strobe that can be set in frequency by the end user so that individual fire stations can have their own unique strobe. The LED's seen in the video above are 4 lumen prototypes. The final assemblies will have 6 LED's with an intensity of 30 lumens. The amber color was chosen in conjunction with CREE engineers due to its superior smoke penetrating properties.
As you can see above, the departure lights help light the area near the ladder. The lights seen in the image above are our prototype lights so they are different colors and deliver a very narrow beam. Where these LED's have a beam pattern of 50 degrees, the final assemblies have a beam pattern of 140 degrees which creates an abundance of light in the departure area. These LED's are only 6 lumens and still broadcast usable light nearly 40 feet from the ladder. The lights used in the final assemblies will be 50 lumens or nearly 9 times brighter. Even with the brighter lights, total runtime on a single battery is in excess of 7 hours.
ORIGINAL DRAWING, SCHEMATIC, PROTOTYPES
We began this project a little over two years ago. Since then we have been through a few different iterations of the F.I.R.E. Light. It started years ago with an idea while I was sitting on the couch in a cast with pins in my leg and slowly blossomed. Once I started my first company, Stout Performance, I found myself in a position where I could bring this project into reality. And so It began; first with a CAD drawing and printed prototype. Then once we confirmed fitment, we produced four units in CNC aluminum. These units are still being used as our "pretty" units for photos and the commercials. We have a foundry that has made the tooling to pour the units in steel or aluminum. The circuit boards have been tooled and are ready to produce in large quantity. The LED flexible circuit boards are here and they are amazing. Fully integrated circuitry makes them extremely reliable in the conditions they will be facing.
Our original body CAD Wiring schematic Wiring schematic The circuit board The circuit board Prototyping Prototyping Housing Housing Functioning unit Functioning unit This is our first 3-D render after we decided to add the Window Punch Ribbon This is our first 3-D render after we decided to add the Window Punch Ribbon Our first printed prototype. Our first printed prototype. The original three machined pieces. The original three machined pieces. Our first run of circuit boards Our first run of circuit boards
FUNDING DIRECTION AND TIMELINE
All components have been tooled and samples have been produced. We are now ready to begin a full production run. This is where we need your help. When we reach our goal we will be able to produce 1000 units to begin distribution to departments nationwide. If our goals are exceeded, then the money will go directly to production of more units to get them into the hands of the men and women serving us. Regardless of the amount of money raised through this campaign, for every thousand dollars we receive, we will donate 1 unit to a volunteer department in the U.S.
All the companies we are working with are ready to go into full production and once the goal is achieved and we give the "Go" order it will take approximately 6-8 weeks to have the first thousand units in our hands. We are fully ready logistically to begin shipping and pre-orders have been made by multiple departments. Please give us the helping hand we need. Thank you so much for your support.
REWARD KEYCHAIN LIGHTS
Risks and challenges
We are now in a position where all of the bugs have been ironed out. The design is finalized and the tooling has been made. The LED's have been chosen and the circuit boards have been tooled. We will be using the funding received here to take those tools into full production. We have tested our manufacturing process with the sample units and have not had any issues. We are confident that if any occur, our production partners are capable of maintaining high quality and timely deliveries. By keeping all of the production and engineering within central Texas, I will be able to maintain close supervision over the entire process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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